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Parastremmatic dwarfism

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A girl aged ten, of Cape Coloured stock, with typical features of parastremmatic dwarfism has been investigated. The clinical manifestations included disproportionate dwarfism, limb deformity, a short stiff neck, and marked thoracic kyphosis. The radiographic changes were dramatic, the skeleton having a "flocky" appearance due to patches of radiolucency in an irregular lattice of sclerosis. The metaphyses and epiphyses of the long bones were grossly expanded, and the vertebrae were flattened and distorted. The clinical and radiographic features of five other previously reported individuals with parastremmatic dwarfism were very similar to those of our patient. The differential diagnosis of this condition includes metatrophic dwarfism, diatrophic dwarfism and the spondylo-epiphysial dysplasias. However, the unique "flocky" radiographic appearance of the bones permits diagnostic precision. There is some evidence to indicate that parastremmatic dwarfism might be transmitted as an autosomal dominant, although this is by no means certain. The fact that our patient had seven normal siblings and unaffected parents would be compatible woth autosomal recessive inheritance.

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